By Education Welfare and Safeguarding Team on 19 Nov 2020
Every person who works within education has a shared intended outcome, to support children’s abilities to thrive. Whether that be to develop their knowledge and understanding of the world around them, to improve their reading or mathematical skills, to support their speech and language development, to provide a safe space or to teach social and life skills. To do this successfully, we as educators have 2 main resources that we depend on; a child’s attendance and the ability to protect children from harm. After all, children across the globe have a right to an education, and a right to be safe.
At One Education we work as advocates for schools and of course their pupils, to provide the relevant support to ensure that all children are given the opportunity to thrive. Our Education Welfare & Safeguarding team work alongside school staff to create bespoke packages of support specifically around safeguarding and attendance. The team ensure that schools are meeting statutory requirements as well as doing all they can to ensure that all pupils receive the same opportunities as their peers.
Poor attendance is often a key indicator for schools that something may not be working well for a family. It may be that the child or young person is suffering with their mental health, that they are a victim of abuse or have been groomed into sexual or criminal exploitation. It may be that they are a young carer, that there are issues with substance misuse within the household, that a parent has lost their job or that the family are homeless.
All of these situations, and others, can contribute to a child or young person having poor attendance at school or college and it is our duty to ensure that as much as possible, children are able to access their right to an education. We know that children with good school attendance are more likely to reach age-related expectations, will develop key relationships with their peers as well as school staff, will receive a hot meal and will be kept safe whilst they are in school. In short, they have more opportunity to thrive – and we can help them achieve this.
By working with school staff, pupils and parents, One Education can help to identify gaps, build relationships and improve attendance both on an individual and whole-school basis. Supporting parents and pupils in their understanding of the impact on poor school attendance in a young person’s ability to thrive is absolutely key and the realisation that this is also one of their human rights can be extremely powerful in improving attendance.
It is globally recognised that children have the right to be kept safe from harm, and we have a duty of care to uphold this for the children and young people who attend our settings. Keeping Children Safe in Education 2020 outlines the statutory requirements with regards to how school staff should safeguard their pupils and at One Education, we can help schools achieve this.
We deliver CPD Certified Safeguarding Training to Designated Safeguarding Leads and Early Years Foundation Stage settings, as well as introductory safeguarding training to whole staff teams. We also support schools in assessing their safeguarding procedures and policies and create action plans to ensure best practice. Ofsted have outlined the need for safeguarding staff to access professional supervision as part of their role, something which has already been recognised as part of the EYFS Statutory Framework and One Education are able to facilitate this service by NSPCC-trained staff.
By creating and embedding a strong safeguarding culture across educational settings, pupils will naturally thrive in a safe, trusted environment where their needs are kept at the centre of decisions made by staff and senior leaders.
Please contact the Education Welfare and Safeguarding Team at One Education for more information on the services that we can offer to support schools, colleges and academy trusts to develop and improve their attendance and safeguarding practices.